Australia Post customer paid $3,000 over 'annoying' delivery problem

The common practice of 'carding' could earn Australia Post customers compensation if posties fail to accurately deliver parcels in line with their standards and leave cards instead.

Posties have often been slammed as "lazy" by furious and frustrated customers for leaving "sorry we missed you cards" despite being home and available to receive their package.

"I was home all day yesterday, got my mail delivered in my postbox, but the postman was too lazy to walk to the door to hand me my package so he carded me," one person previously wrote on Facebook, and hundreds have since followed.

"That's so frustrating," another customer wrote, while others branded the practice "annoying" and "not good enough".

Australia Post collection card
Australia Post customers often complain of cards being left, despite being home and able to receive their parcels. Source:

But under Australian Consumer Law, Australia Post customers are entitled to full duty of care when it comes to the postal service, and this includes parcels being delivered to the location where they are addressed, The Courier Mail reported.

Aussie couple awarded $3100

In February this year, a Melbourne couple were awarded $3100 after a postman repeatedly failed to deliver their parcels, instead making them collect their goods from the post office.

Wade Short, from the northeast suburb of Eltham, insisted he and his wife were home, but despite this, a card was left each time.

Growing increasingly frustrated by the poor delivery service to his address, Mr Short took the national postal service to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal after lodging a formal complaint with Australia Post.

The tribunal found that Mr Short and his wife spent half an hour a week travelling to their closest post office to collect parcels the postman failed to deliver.

Post man delivering mail
Posties are required to provide a service with due care and skill under Australian Consumer Law. Source: AAP

The compensation amount was based on how much time it took the couple to travel to their nearest post office between June 2020 and December 2021, it was reported at the time.

The decision declared that the "delivery of parcels was not undertaken with due care and skill, as the parcels were not delivered to the residential address where they were addressed."

Customers can lodge a complaint

Australian Post customers who've experienced the same can lodge a complaint outlining details of their failed delivery attempt.

Information including the dates you have been ‘carded’, confirmation you were home at the time, whether the items were time-sensitive, such as medication, and how long it took you to collect each item should be included.

Also, the cost of the delivery and any action you’d like them to take, whether this is an apology, a refund or a commitment to ensure it doesn't happen again.

If, after an investigation by the ombudsman, service doesn't improve, customers, like Mr Short, can take it to the tribunal for compensation.

'Carding' more common now due to added 'incentive'

The postal worker’s union previously told The Age the practice of "carding" is becoming more common due to Australia Post’s employment of subcontractors.

"The contract model sees workers paid per parcel, as opposed to an hourly rate that posties receive, and this provides its own incentive to potentially cut corners," Leroy Lazaro, the Victorian branch secretary of the Communication Workers Union said.

But Australia Post has long defended its staff saying there are a few reasons why posties may not be able to deliver parcels.

"Our people work hard to deliver mail and parcels safely and on time, and our posties and drivers should knock at the door three times and call out before leaving a card or safe-dropping the parcel," an Australia Post spokesperson previously said.

"Sometimes our people will leave a card without knocking because of access or safety issues – such as an off-leash dog – and this could happen even when a customer is home."

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